New NLRB Members Invite More Legal Disputes, so Recuse!

It’s not as if Craig Becker’s controversial record is going to disappear just because President Obama names him via recess appointment to the National Labor Relations Board.

From the National Right to Work Legal Foundation, a news release, “Legal Aid Foundation Demands Radical Obama-Recess Appointee to Recuse Himself from 12 Pending Cases“:

Washington, DC (March 29, 2010) – After President Barack Obama installed Service Employees International Union (SEIU) lawyer Craig Becker as a recess appointee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Saturday, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys are now filing 12 recusal motions asking Becker to step aside in any pending case involving the Foundation.

As associate general counsel of the SEIU, Becker directly litigated against Foundation attorneys and helped orchestrate legal strategies for SEIU affiliates across the United States, so he should recuse himself from cases involving the SEIU or its affiliates. Moreover, his published writings indicate an extreme level of hostility against the Foundation and its legal arguments on behalf of workers, even when the NLRB or United States Supreme Court have agreed and ruled against union officials for their abusive practices.

As the National Association of Manufacturers’ Keith Smith noted Monday, Becker told the U.S. Senate he would recuse himself only from pending cases involving the international unions of the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, his long-time employers. The NLRB’s activities are more likely to involve disputes between union locals and employers.

Employer groups strenuously opposed Becker’s nomination because his writing suggested a willingness to enact provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act through board action. Along those lines, the Right to Work Foundation also mentions the potential reversal of a key case that has helped prevent union abuse of the card check process of certifying union representation.

Union lawyers have devised a legal strategy to overturn Dana Corp, a landmark case won by Foundation attorneys in which the NLRB granted employees the ability to file a decertification petition and demand a secret ballot election to toss out union officials from their workplace within 45 days after an employer recognizes a monopoly bargaining agent by card check.

Former NLRB member John Raudabaugh cited the Dana/Metadyne case in a piece on the new NLRB for his lawfirm, Nixon Peabody:

Dana/Metaldyne. The Bush board modified the voluntary recognition bar doctrine (i.e., preventing rival petitions or a decertification petition for a reasonable period, approximately six months, following an employer’s voluntary recognition of a union by a majority of employee-signed cards or petition in an appropriate unit). The Dana/Metaldyne decision would attach a bar only if all employees were given notice of the voluntary recognition and of their right, within 45 days, to file a decertification petition or support a rival union petition with a minimum 30 percent of employees’ signatures, and no such petition(s) is filed. With organized labor’s press for the Employee Free Choice Act to, in part, equate voluntary recognition based on card signatures with a secret ballot NLRB-conducted election, card/check, and neutrality agreements, a Democrat majority NLRB may well overturn Dana/Metaldyne to remove any restrictions on voluntary recognition.

See also this memo from NLRB’s general counsel. The Wall Street Journal covered the Right to Work Foundation’s petition in, “NLRB Fight Begins Anew.”

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